Nashville Predators: Grading David Poile’s 2022 Offseason Moves after 20 Games

Nov 19, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Nino Niederreiter (22) celebrates after a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2022; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators right wing Nino Niederreiter (22) celebrates after a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kevin Lankinen
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Kevin Lankinen: A+

Poile looks like a genius right now with the addition of Lankinen as Juuse Saros’ backup. The Predators have not one, but two, goaltenders who are worthy of being anyone’s primary starter. A huge luxury to have.

Lankinen is among the NHL’s best in terms of Goals Saved Above Expected despite only being a backup. He is ahead of such top end goaltenders as Igor Shesterkin, Darcy Kuemper, Jake Oettinger, and yes, even Juuse Saros.

Is this sustainable? Who knows, but up to this point he is giving the Predators a trusted backup option in net that is playing just as well, if not better, than Saros.

Where would the Predators be right now if David Rittich or Connor Ingram were the backup over Lankinen? They would at least have another two or three losses to what has already been an up and down season.

If we get a locked in and fresh Saros down the grind of the regular season thanks to Lankinen’s reliable backup duties, this move will be an A+ no doubt. The Predators need Saros at his best level both to make the postseason and also to somehow get over the first round hump.